There was a time when people weren’t aware of Quora much and still many aren’t. However, over the years, the Q&A platform is at par with Google in terms of both readership and popularity. Being an active member of Quora platform and follower of Content industry, I come across a wide array of questions asking – how to become a good writer? What qualities do I need to build to become a good writer? How should I start writing? and the list goes on. As I too went through the same ordeal 2 years back, I can so relate to their queries. To give a stop to their doubts and queries, I thought of penning down a full-fledged blog post listing down some basic tips on how to become a good writer.
No matter if you are a beginner or a full-fledged writer, I am sure these tips (as listed in the infographic) would be beneficial to both segments. So, let us begin:
Read and Write As Much As Possible
We as writers are no different from a normal human being. It’s just that we read a lot, observe a lot and write a lot. We try improving our vocabulary every day either through books or any other form of literature. So, my advice to all the newbies would be just one: Read a lot and Write a lot more. The more you read, the better you will be able to grasp words quickly and frame out error-free copies. Researching, reading and then writing is one of the simplest methods to begin your journey as a writer. You can further take help of these pointers for a clear understanding:
- Identify your niche – Niche is any topic or category that interests you. It is something that you love to read about, talk about in your social circle and you keep yourself up-to-date w.r.t your niche. If I tell you about me, I love to read about ‘Technology’. It’s my niche and so I try and keep myself updated on anything and everything happening in the tech world.
- Thorough Research – Once you have a basic understanding of your niche. Start researching anywhere and everywhere. We are living in a digitized world, so everything gets available at the tap of a button. Make optimum use of online and offline resources before you start writing.
- Structure and Write – Once your research gets over, focus on framing out a proper structure for your content piece. Having a defined structure improves your proficiency and embarks you on the journey to become a good writer.
Read Books by some Notable Authors to Grasp their Artistic style of Writing. Learn from the Masters and Emulate them to Identify your OWN VOICE
Every one of us has heard this famous saying – Practice leads to Perfection. This ideology fits perfect when we talk about writers. If you want to become a good writer, ensure you write more and more. Writing is a skill, and it needs regular practice. Write for yourself, verify it on vocabulary, grammar, and punctuation to reduce errors. Start writing for bloggers/publications once you feel you are on par in terms of content quality. The more you write, the more confidence you will gain for your writing style, so keep writing. Just in case, if you are wondering about the benefits of writing daily, check out the link and all your doubts will be cleared.
Obtain Clarity in Your Thoughts
My recent post listing down 4C’s of Content Writing you must consider helped a lot of new writers. Among the 4C’s I mentioned, it was important to keep Clarity as #1. You might ask why? The answer is because if you are in a Content industry. having a clarity of thoughts is a must-have skill. If you as a writer are clear in your thought process, know what you have to write and what would be its structure, every piece that you write would be no less than a masterpiece irrespective of its word count.
Begin Your Writing Piece With a Question
Popular writers and bloggers across the globe have a notion that almost every writing piece should begin with a question. As per them, if you start the piece with an answer, it often renders the piece incomplete. To avoid this, you can begin with a question and then put in your personalized thoughts.
Basic technique – Why, What and How works wonderfully
Let’s suppose you are curating a post on ‘Email Marketing’. So, the best blog post structure would be:
Why – Why do you need to know about ‘Email Marketing and how will it be beneficial for you
What – What is ‘Email Marketing’. Here you can list down a range of sub-topics other than the regular definition
How – This section would revolve around practical implementation. What is the best approach to apply ‘Email Marketing’ and how can you leverage it
Understand your Target Audience
An important factor that differentiates between a writer and a good writer. The latter understands his/her audience needs and tries formulating content as per their requirements ensuring quality at the same time. So, if you too want to make a dent, start understanding your audience. See how they react to your publications and accordingly formulate your content pieces. Take help of Google Analytics tool to keep a close watch on your incoming audience and pave a way to become a good writer.
Talk it Through
How many times have you started writing a piece with full enthusiasm and then left it hanging in the middle? Quite a few times, isn’t it? We as human beings have a natural tendency to skip things and lose concentration. As a writer, we do start writing a piece, but as days pass, all the excitement fades away. Result? An incomplete post and an irregular schedule to tackle with. I believe culprits are none, but US. Our Lack of Practice of Writing combined with the Lack of proper writing schedule makes things worse.
In case you are also battling these issues, simply apply the Talk It Through approach. The approach simply means – the art of conversing with each other. How well can you talk to a random/known person is what makes all the difference. Other than ‘Talk It Through’, you can also use a simple voice recorder or if you are love exercising, walking is the ideal approach for you. One famous notion we writers believe in is: Great conversations and thinking are done while you are on-the-move. So, why not try moving out and let great ideas filter out of you with minimal efforts. It’s worth a trial, what do you say?
Practice the Art of Deletion
Being a writer, we put in a lot of efforts while curating a content piece. What makes it an effective piece is the patience and the tactic we apply to cut down what’s not important. If you wish to be a good writer, then you must understand what is important and what’s pure garbage for your target audience. Once you understand the fine difference between the two, you are sure on the right track. It’s better to stick to the main pointers because nobody likes to read clichés and abstract thinking.
Even renowned writers struggle with the opening and closure of their masterpiece content pieces, so if they can feel it, you surely can. So, the question is: how to avoid clichés and abstract thinking in your writings? Let me share my secret with you guys:
Once I finish my post, I DELETE the Opening and Closing paragraphs
After taking a momentary break I again sit and try looking at the content piece with a fresh mind and a new perspective. It works and I often get an opening/closing paragraphs which are way better than the first draft. So, my advice to you would be simply this: do take regular breaks in between as it would improve your productivity. Once you are done writing, take a short break and then proofread your content easily with these tips to ensure giving a top-notch content quality.
Location Matters – Choose it Wisely
It’s not always the writing style that counts. At times, even the place where you sit matters. As the technology is raising its standards, we are becoming more prone to stress issues. The stress is directly affecting our writing ability both on personal & professional levels. So, how to fight this inner chaos that we as human beings are battling every day?
The answer is simple – if you are a full-time freelancer and work-from-home, you can play some energizing music, bounce on an exercise ball or change the ambiance of your place using scented candles. Even if you find these tips a bit odd, I urge you to give them a try continuously for 7 days. By the end of the week, I am sure you would see a big change in your work proficiency and would thank me.
However, working in a corporate, you cannot ask for scented candles around your work-desk as it would look odd. So, it is important to identify an alternative solution to beat the stress at workplace. There are several strategies for managing stress in the workplace that you must take into consideration to have a healthy professional life. Apply the tactics and ensure you are on the right path to living a healthy life and become a good writer.
Experiment but Maintain Originality
Right from the childhood, I am sure even you would have read the proverb: नक़ल में भी अक्ल की जरुरत पड़ती हैं or rather ‘Only constant in life is Change’. Its good to strive for change, but it should never be done at the cost of losing what’s your own i.e., ‘Your Originality’. If you are a new writer, its okay to emulate or learn from the person you follow. But remember, it never gives you the right to take undue advantage of his generosity. You ain’t allowed to copy-paste the original content and market it under your name. Follow but maintain your originality.
Its okay to try out new things and experiment with style, voice, and mechanics. But it’s important that you ain’t losing yourself or the originality of the masterpiece already written. Its said:
An invention is a Key, but Tossing out what’s NOT RELATED is equally Important
Acknowledge the Feedback
One thing that we as human beings lack is the ability to accept criticism. We believe in obtaining perfection, yet we fail to accept and acknowledge the feedback we get from people around us. When it’s about a random person, we quickly criticize believing what our eyes perceived or what we heard from our ears. But, when we are in the picture, its a completely different story. If you desire to learn, you must practice the art of accepting the feedback as well.
In the field of writing, a single content piece can go up to millions of times for proofreading. If you practically experience it, it’s disheartening, yet it’s important that you stay calm and patient. Every iteration helps you in becoming a better writer. In today’s world of digitization, content is one of the important factors that can make or break a business. So, it is crucial that it gets scrutinized as hard as it can be ensuring top-notch quality is maintained.
Editors of big newspapers like Times of India, The Hindu are vocal and possess an excellent vocabulary. You can take help of them to improve your writing skills. However, you must ensure that the editor gives an honest and intelligent feedback. Acknowledge the feedback and improve your content.
Do remember one simple fact:
The More You Write, the Easier it Gets. Just never stop Practicing
These were just a few tips from my own experience. If you are a renowned writer, do let us know how your writing journey began and what’s your secret mantra in the comments section below.